The Moringa oleifera plant has long been used in the Ayurvedic medical tradition of India to combat cardiovascular ailments and obesity-related issues. These treatments have proven effective in many cases, but it is only in recent years that the medical establishment has begun to investigate the scientific basis for these beneficial effects. A number of medical studies have shown marked reductions in the levels of bad cholesterol present in the bloodstream of laboratory test animals.
Cholesterol and health
Cholesterol is a necessary element in building and repairing cells within the body. There are two basic types of cholesterol. Low-density and high-density lipoproteins, known as LDLs and HDLs respectively, play very different roles in maintaining physical health. HDLs help to eliminate fatty deposits from the bloodstream, enhancing cardiovascular health and promoting healthy veins and arteries. These forms of cholesterol are typically denser and more compact than their low-density counterparts. LDLs are better known as bad cholesterol and have nearly the opposite effect on the body, causing lipid deposits to form in blood vessels and contributing to heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. White blood cells in the bloodstream attack LDL buildups, causing inflammation and worsening blockages caused by this form of cholesterol.
Potential risks of LDLs
Elevated levels of bad cholesterol in the body are associated with an increased risk of atheroschlerosis and arteriosclerotic vascular disease as well as cardiovascular disease. Additionally, LDLs have been implicated in certain immune system deficiencies, making them a significant threat to health and wellness. Controlling the level of LDLs in the blood and circulatory system is crucial to extending life and improving overall physical condition, especially in largely sedentary or overweight individuals.
The role of diet
Increased intake of LDLs results in higher levels in the bloodstream. However, medical studies show that 80% of cholesterol results from production within the body itself, primarily within the liver during the breakdown of food. While maintaining a healthy, low-fat diet is helpful in reducing cholesterol, dietary changes alone are usually not sufficient to manage bad cholesterol levels effectively.
Moringa and cholesterol
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2000 showed a significant reduction in the levels of bad cholesterol in laboratory rats when moringa supplements were added to their normal daily diet. This was true in rats fed a high-fat diet as well as a standard diet; the moringa leaves reduced cholesterol levels overall. The control groups were also fed normal and high-fat diets and exhibited no such reductions in LDLs present in blood serum, further confirming the significant effect moringa supplements can produce. These results offer concrete evidence for claims made by Ayurvedic medical personnel for centuries that moringa leaves offer measurable protection against the buildup of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Implications for health care
The results of the Lipid Research Clinics Primary Prevention Trial published in 1984 indicate that overall reduction in cholesterol levels had a direct and measurable effect on the number of new instances of heart disease and angina. In layman’s terms, reducing cholesterol also reduces the chance of serious cardiovascular illness. In fact, reducing the bad cholesterol levels by 25% can produce a correlating reduction in heart attacks, strokes and other cholesterol-related illnesses by as much as 50%, making cholesterol reduction a major goal in achieving improved outcomes for patients who may be predisposed to these conditions. Incorporating moringa supplements into the daily diets of individuals who are statistically likely to experience high cholesterol levels or who may have already been diagnosed with high LDL levels may provide significant protection, especially when combined with other prescription medications.
The evidence that moringa leaf supplements can combat high cholesterol is overwhelming. By incorporating these natural supplements into a healthy daily dietary plan, individuals can protect themselves against the effects of high cholesterol levels more effectively even in the absence of other major lifestyle changes.